NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday referred to a seven-judge bench over 60 petitions seeking review of its 2018 judgment where it allowed women of all ages entry into Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple. The bench will re-examine various religious issues, including the entry of women into mosques and the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.
(1) #Sabarimala: Will Shut Down Temple if Tradition Violated, Says Head Priest
(2) #Sabarimala: Doors of Lord Ayyappa Temple Open Amid Huge Protests
(3) Justice Malhotra Lone Dissenting Voice as SC Allows Entry of Women of All Ages in Sabarimala Temple
Supreme Court today said that restrictions on women in religious places were not limited to Sabarimala alone and was prevalent in other religions as well.
Supreme Court, by a majority of 3:2, has referred the review petitions to a larger seven-judge bench. Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice DY Chandrachud gave dissent judgement.
The verdict comes three days ahead of the opening of the Sabarimala temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, a “Naishtika Brahmachari” (Perennial celibate), on November 17 for the annual two-month-long pilgrim season.
However, the majority verdict did not say anything adverse against the apex court’s September 28, 2018 decision allowing women to enter the shrine nor did it stay the earlier judgement.
There is no clarity whether women can enter the shrine, which is scheduled to open for worship from November 17.
The Apex Court said that the larger bench will decide all such religious issues relating to Sabarimala, entry of women in mosques and practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi read the verdict on behalf of himself and Justices A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra.
The CJI said that the endeavour of the petitioners was to revive the debate on religion and faith.
He added that the apex court should evolve a common policy on religious places like Sabarimala and added that the larger bench will decide the issues relating to this Hindu shrine, entry of women into mosques and practice of female genital mutilation.
The split 3:2 decision came on 65 petitions — 56 review petitions, four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas — which were filed against the earlier 4:1 verdict
The five-judge Constitution heard in an open court the pleas by the parties, including the Nair Service Society(NSS), the Sabarimala temple’s Head Priest, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and the state’s Left Democratic Front(LDF) government.
The apex court, by a majority verdict of 4:1, in September 2018, had lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the famous Ayyappa shrine in Kerala. It had also held that this centuries-old Hindu religious practice was illegal and unconstitutional.
“The court understood the feelings of the devotees and transferred the petitions to be reviewed by a seven-judge bench. We feel relieved and happy that the Supreme Court has decided to review its earlier verdict. This is Lord Ayyappa’s blessing,” said Sasikumar Verma, a Pandalam Royal family member who is one of the petitioners.
However, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan was less enthusiastic about the Sabarimala verdict:
“There needs to be more clarity on this judgement. A five-member bench has given a majority judgement. We have already made it clear that the government is committed to comply by the Supreme Court judgment no matter what it is. As of now, we are given to understand that the first verdict is still in place. We need to understand the impact of this verdict and will seek legal opinions. Now we are understanding that the SC judgement of September 28 is still in place, but we are unclear about the implications. We will have to seek the opinion from the experts. We need more time for this.”
World Cotton Day: Smriti Irani Launches First-Ever Brand Logo For Indian Cotton
India’s premium Cotton would now be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade.
NEW DELHI: Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development launched the 1st ever Brand & Logo for Indian Cotton on 2nd World Cotton Day on October 7, 2020, through Video Conferencing.
India’s premium Cotton would now be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade.
Hon’ble Minister of Textiles @smritiirani Ji launched the 1st ever Brand & Logo for Indian Cotton to be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ on occasion of 2nd World Cotton Day, 2020. The Brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness. pic.twitter.com/EDOJIY5UHU
— Ministry of Textiles (@TexMinIndia) October 7, 2020
The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness.
Speaking on this occasion, Irani said that this is a much-awaited moment that TODAY the Indian Cotton has been endowed with a Brand and Logo. This event becomes more important as the 2nd World Cotton Day is being celebrated world over today.
The Minister recounted the importance of Cotton in the Indian economy:
Cotton is one of the principal commercial crops of India and it provides livelihood to about 6o lakh cotton farmers.
India is the 2nd largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world.
India produces about 6.00 million tons of cotton every year which is about 23% of the world cotton.
India produces about 51% of the total organic cotton production of the world, which demonstrates India’s effort towards sustainability.
Smt. Irani said that to ensure sustainability, integrity and end-to-end traceability of the organic products, a certification system based on comparable international standards verified through an internationally acceptable institutional system is required to be put in place.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Textiles through APEDA under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has prescribed a certification system for organic Cotton which will be introduced in phases in the entire textile value chain.
Similarly, prescribing a certification system for non-organic Cotton has also been taken up with APEDA so that usages of cotton can be suitably augmented.
The Minister stated that Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) made ever highest Minimum Support Price (MSP) operation of cotton and hopeful that during the new cotton season, the procurement under MSP will be increased.
CCI has opened 430 procurement centres in all cotton-growing states and payments are being made digitally to farmers’ account within 72 hours.
Further, leveraging the technology, a mobile app, “Cott-Ally” has been developed by CCI for providing latest news regarding weather condition, Crop situation and best farm practices.
A discount of Rs.300/- per candy is being offered by CCI in its regular sale to MSME mills, Khadi and Village industry, Cooperative sector mills to enhance their competitiveness and efficiency.
It was also stated that cotton may be used across all dimension of Technical Textiles.
Further, Irani intimated that the government has passed bills for the welfare of the farmers, which also be beneficial to the industries.
The minister also attended the inaugural session of the webinar organised by TEXPROCIL and CITI on the theme of “NEW-LOOK COTTON” to facilitate the exchange of ideas on the emerging scenarios in cotton usage and application.
Hindu Temples Reopen With Protocols In Harare, Zimbabwe
Cameron Street Shree Omkar Mandir celebrated 90th anniversary in February 2019.
HARARE (Zimbabwe): Two Hindu temples in Harare (Zimbabwe), run by The Hindoo Society Harare (HSH), which have been closed for few months due to COVID-19, are opening again on September 26 with various protocols.
The temperature of each person entering the premises of the Hindoo Society will be taken and hands will be sanitized at the entrance. Individuals with a temperature not in the permissible range (36.1 °C to 37.2 °C) will be denied entry, an announcement of HSH Executive Committee states.
Wearing of masks is compulsory and visitors will be required to give their names and contact numbers at the entrance and abide by the tape demarcations to observe social distancing (minimum two meters) within the temple. Any person refusing to follow the procedures will be required to leave the premises, the announcement adds.
Commending HSH for attempting necessary precautions and actions to combat deadly coronavirus and educating the community, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Hindus to draw closer to God through prayer during COVID-19.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, suggested Hindus pray at least twice daily in their home shrines with total devotion and pure heart. These prayers might include making offerings to ishta-devata, chanting mantras, reading sacred texts, performing aarti and bhajans, doing puja, etc.
Hindus are God’s people, full of courage and generosity. Petition God for the common good of all the local and world communities during these times of confusion and suffering, Rajan Zed says.
Ridgeview Shree Omkar Mandir will be open daily from 06:00 am 07:30 pm, while Cameron Street Shree Omkar Mandir will be open daily from 07:30 am to noon. Mandir (Temple) will be disinfected daily by a professional company, per the announcement.
Cameron Street Shree Omkar Mandir celebrated 90th anniversary in February 2019, while 25th anniversary of Ridgeview Shree Omkar Mandir was observed in 2017. HSH “intends to publish a written record” of the hundred years of “community’s existence in Zimbabwe”.
In the pre-COVID-19 times, HSH reportedly had been conducting various bhajan events, twice-weekly yoga classes, Hindi lessons, cultural/social activities; organized daily aarti at both the temples with Havan on Sundays; and offered funeral assistance for bereaved families; etc.; besides running Mahila Mandal, Shishu Mandal and Yuvak Mandal. HSH has also been running various schools—Westridge High School, Westridge Primary School, Gujarati School.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.
Lok Sabha Passes Jammu And Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020
The Bill proposes to include Kashmiri, Dongri and Hindi in the list of official languages of the UT.
NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill under which Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier, the official language for the Union territory was only Urdu.
Speaking about the bill in Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Home Ministry G. Kishan Reddy said that that the legislation will fulfil the long-awaited demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Live: Introducing The Jammu & Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020. https://t.co/PbinSjE8Wa
— G Kishan Reddy (@kishanreddybjp) September 23, 2020
He said the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir had informed the Centre that people across the Union Territory had been demanding to include the languages they speak and understand as their official language.
The minister pointed out that around 74 per cent people in the Union Territory spoke Kashmiri and Dogri languages.
He said that according to 2011 census, only 0.16 per cent population in Jammu and Kashmir spoke Urdu, while 2.3 per cent spoke Hindi.
— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) September 2, 2020
The bill was passed by a voice vote.
Meanwhile, the Sikh and Gujjar communities have protested the exclusion of Punjabi and Gojri languages from the bill.
Participating in the debate on the Bill, Naresh Gujral (SAD) termed it “unfortunate” that Punjabi was not included in the Bill and urged the government to reconsider it.
The J&K Constitution included Punjabi and the first Chief Minister of J&K was a Punjabi, he said and added: “It hurts the feeling of those who are settled there. I would urge the government to reconsider because language is the basis of cultural heritage of the community.” He said 13 lakh Punjabis live in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mir Mohammad Fayaz (PDP) demanded inclusion of Gurjari, Punjabi and Pahari in the Bill, saying that the motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” was lacking in the state.
“Include Punjabi, Gurjari and Pahari so that we win the trust of everyone in J&K,” he said.
Ramdas Athawale (RPI) expressed “support to Dogri and Kashmiri languages” and in his poetic style said that a day will come when PoK will come to India.
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